Fort Worth’s newest public art installation greets residents and visitors with a bold message—to dream big, be bold, and lead on. The 70-foot mural is Texas Christian University’s capstone on its artful coast-to-coast tour celebrating TCU’s 150th anniversary.
Today’s unveiling completes the university’s year-long public art campaign that included murals in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Chicago. The murals highlighted leaders who found their inspiration and sharpened their abilities at TCU.
The U.S. mural campaign featured Horned Frogs leading on in their chosen fields, beginning in NYC with “Hamilton” actor John Devereaux and TCU grad. In Los Angeles, a TCU mural celebrated an “NCIS” writer alum’s inspiring life story.
“Dream Big. Be Bold. Lead On”
The interactive campus mural, located at the corner of Lubbock Avenue and Berry Street, features TCU landmarks like Frog Fountain blended with aspirational symbols that include, of course, the horned frog. Monarch butterflies and mockingbirds represent transformation and infinite potential. Ripples spread outwards to signify how one person can influence many.
Community members can participate by posing in front of the mural or using a digital filter to “muralize” themselves, according to the school. “Easter eggs” are hidden in the design for visitors to find, too.
The mural’s central slogan—”Dream Big. Be Bold. Lead On”—sets the tone for TCU’s next 150 years of trailblazing Horned Frog alumni, the university said in a new release. It also works in TCU collegiate cheer themes like “Fear the Frog” and “Riff Ram.”
TCU, which was founded in 1873, has grown to become a world-class private university. Its original class of 13 students has grown to a global network of more than 100,000 living alumni, the school says.
A collective leadership focus
“There are so many amazing leadership stories in our community, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to choose one person to highlight for this particular mural,” said TCU Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communication Tracy Syler-Jone said in a statement.
“Inviting community participation will uncover stories that illustrate how we are leading on together for the greater good.”
Designed by TCU grad
The mural was designed by 2023 TCU graduate Natalie Neale to capture the collective Horned Frog spirit with its iconic TCU imagery. Neale says she wanted to “convey what it means to be part of something larger than yourself.”
Just as the Frog Fountain represents knowledge flowing from class to class, Neale wants the mural to depict how TCU mentors shape students who can better the world.
“The mural represents how we can pass that impact on to others,” Neale said in a statement.
TCU honored with proclamation
To celebrate TCU’s 150th anniversary, Tarrant County issued a proclamation this week naming 2023 as the university’s commemorative year and acknowledging TCU’s significance and longstanding ties with its home county.
“Many years ago, this region had a vision that a thriving university would improve its academic and cultural profile, and that its students would stay here to work, raise their families, and become part of the community,” TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr said in a statement. “Today, we have achieved all of this and more—thanks to the amazing people of TCU and of all Tarrant County.”
Earlier this year, Texas Christian University was honored with a resolution from the State of Texas and a proclamation from the City of Fort Worth commemorating the university’s 150th anniversary.
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